In the aftermath of the 2013 legislative session, I think it’s appropriate to consider what it meant for Oregon businesses.
There are some indications that an economic recovery is under way statewide and nationally. However, the last few months have seen many large Oregon companies either relocate elsewhere or lay off hundreds of employees. This has happened in places like Tigard, Hillsboro, Coos Bay, Hood River, Halsey, Cave Junction and even Portland.
In order to succeed and thrive, businesses need a sense of certainty. They need to know that the state and its agencies aren’t going to implement rules that can affect their ability to do business or plan for potential expansions and hiring.
That sense of uncertainty was only compounded throughout the legislative session. Job creators faced any number of bills and potential laws that could complicate their efforts to stay in business.
It isn’t just businesses that face that kind of uncertainty. Members of Oregon’s public sector face it as well. But like all things, these issues are connected.
The state of Oregon relies heavily on personal income tax revenue to fund its programs and services. Because of that, a vibrant, thriving public sector requires a strong private sector. Otherwise, public employees face uncertainty about the security of their livelihoods.
I remain optimistic that we can find ways to create more certainty for our job creators, which will, in turn, create more certainty for people working in the public sector, and will keep working to make that happen.